Trent Alexander-Arnold enjoyed a successful breakout season with Liverpool last year, becoming a regular in the side and eventually walking out a starter in the Champions League final against Real Madrid in Kiev.
The Liverpool youngster was brought into the side following a back injury to Nathaniel Clyne, but his performances – particularly those against Manchester City, where he stopped a rampant Leory Sane across two legs – earned him plaudits and a continued starting role even upon Clyne’s return to fitness.
The step up from reserve to first-team action tends to eventually take its toll on any young player, and it appears to have done so currently with the youngster.
The England international has played 50 games for club and country since the beginning of last season, and travelled to the World Cup instead of taking the standard time off in the summer.
Liverpool’s number 66 was hooked at half-time in the Reds’ embarrassing 2-0 defeat to Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday evening, after being singled out by Jamie Carragher for playing Alexandre Lacazette onside for Arsenal’s equaliser on Saturday evening.
Although Clyne does not offer the same incisive crossing or attacking threat as Alexander-Arnold, he has always been a reliable figure for Liverpool at the back.
It may be time for Klopp to consider reverting to the more experienced defender alongside his improved back four, which would also allow him to continue with the partnership of Joe Gomez and Virgil Van Dijk in the centre.